The CMA Board
Linda Nunn - Chairman
Day job: Director, Cranborne Chase AONB
Background: Since 1980, Linda has had various countryside ranger roles in Warrington, Lancashire, Merseyside and Dorset until taking on the challenge of leading the Cranborne Chase AONB team from 2000. Since 2005, Linda has run a charity supporting the rangers in Virunga NP, DR Congo. She joined CMA in 1981 and became a Board member in 2014.
Dave Solly - Membership Affairs Group chair
Day job: With Natural England advising on the natural environment, particularly in green spaces/places close to where people live.
Background: Dave has been involved in countryside and greenspace management since 1988 and an active a CMA member since 1992. He’s had various roles in CMA over the years including Midlands region Chair and newsletter editor, conference organiser and Treasurer. He currently has oversight of the Membership categories and processes for accredited membership.
Sarah Gibbs - Board member
Day job: Senior Reserves Officer at Pitsford Water for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Background: I have been working in conservation and a member of the CMA since 2002 and I have been actively involved with helping to make things happen within the organisation. Originally I started at a county level as a rep for Gloucestershire and later joined the committee to help at a national level. I have previously held the positions of East Midlands Co-ordinator and Ranger magazine editor / designer.
Alan Preece - Treasurer, West Midlands region co-ordinator
Day Job: Senior Warden, Saltwells Nature Reserve, Dudley MBC
Background: Alan has been in the countryside management sector since finishing his BSc in Environmental Science in 1998. He then spent a year volunteering at Baggeridge Country Park in South Staffordshire before going on to study for his MSc in Habitat Creation and Management. Following this he worked for a year’s with A Rocha in Portugal carrying out sustainable fisheries research and helping to run their field study centre.
He joined Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s reserves team in 2001 where he led on volunteer recruitment and management. He then moved to London Borough of Hillingdon looking after their country parks and many of their nature reserves.
From there Alan took on the role of borough ecologist in Dudley Council’s planning policy team where he led on nature conservation policy and planning application advice. After six years he hopped back over the field gate to manage Saltwells Nature Reserve.
He has been fortunate to work on ecological research in Portugal, France and Lebanon as well as the UK. However his main interest is getting people from all backgrounds to actively improve their natural environment.”
Mark Baker - Secretary, website admin
Day job: Country Parks Manager, Devon County Council
Background: Having held a variety of ranger and warden roles in Oxfordshire, Derbyshire and abroad, Mark has been the manager of the Grand Western Canal Country Park & LNR in Devon since 2003. He has been a CMA member since 2001 and a board member since 2014.
The National Committee
Ian Brooker - International Ranger Advisor
Day job: Ranger – Dartmoor National Park
Background: Ian has worked for both private and local authority countryside services since 1983 and has been a member of the CMA since 1984. He has worked for Dartmoor National Park Authority since 1990. He has a good knowledge of Ranger Services throughout the World and has attended several European and World Ranger Congresses. He also spent nine months in Newfoundland, Canada in 2000/2001 on a Ranger exchange programme.
Howard Sutcliffe - Welsh region co-ordinator
Day job: AONB Officer
Background: I have always enjoyed the countryside and coast, being born in Blackpool Lancashire and I enjoyed growing up with the hustle and bustle of family shops on the golden mile. Time off was often spent in the Lake District or Bleasdale and the Trough in the Forest of Bowland.
Entered in to Countryside Management over 30 years ago, my first two summers were spent as a Seasonal Ranger in the Lake District National Park.
I then moved to Cheshire County Council as a Countryside Ranger managing various sites around Delamere. Finally I moved to North East Wales where I manage Denbighshire County Council’s Warden Service and Countryside Properties.
I am also lucky enough to be the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Officer which covers 390 square kilometres of rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The stunning landscape consists of windswept moorlands, craggy limestone outcrops, the meandering River Dee and the popular tourist destination Llangollen.
Tom Heenan - East of England region co-ordinator
Day job: Ranger, Essex County Council
Background: After studying a degree in Zoology with Conservation, Tom started out as a Volunteer Ranger at Kelburn Castle & Estate in Scotland. He then returned to the East of England and volunteered at Epping Forest Field Centre, and worked as a voluntary Warden with TCV Urban Ecology in Greenwich, London. He gained a paid position as Assistant Ranger with Essex Wildlife Trust in 2012, then a full-time Ranger position in 2014 with Thurrock Council. He currently works as a Ranger in the Essex Country Parks team.
Tom joined the CMA in 2010, and has been active on the East of England committee since 2014.
Kevin Vigars - North East England region co-ordinator
Day job: Lead Adviser (Statutory Access – Coastal Access, Open Access and National Trails) at Natural England
Background: Having held a variety of countryside and access management roles across the UK I have been involved in Open and Coastal Access Management at Natural England since 2008. I have been a CMA member since 1999 and a National Committee member since 2005.
Ted Talbot – National Trust Corporate Representative
Day job: Countryside Manager for the National Trust in the Peak District
Background: Ted is passionate about the rangering profession and hopes to inspire all rangers to see the value of joining a professional organization. He has over 25 years’ experience as both a Ranger and Countryside Manager and worked on the internationally renowned Ranger training courses run from the Peak District National Park’s training centre at Losehill Hall for over ten years until its closure in 2010. During this time his main experience was with local authority countryside services in Barnsley & Sheffield where he managed the Woodlands Section as well as the Ranger Service until moving to the National Trust in 2014. Ted has been lucky enough to deliver Ranger training events all over the UK and also, through interpreters in both Austria and Slovakia. As one of the Midlands Region National Trust “Ranger Champions” he is looking forward to welcoming more National Trust Rangers into the CMA.
Tim Russell - South West England region co-ordinator
Day job: Urban Ranger, Devon Wildlife Trust / Plymouth City Council
Background: Environmental Biology degree at Oxford Brookes University. Nature Reserve Officer at Slapton Ley NNR in South Devon, Countryside Manager for Oxford City Council, Senior Ranger Quantock Hills AONB Somerset, Ranger in Charge Australian National Parks Service Victoria (career exchange), Site Manager for Woodland Trust for Avon, Somerset, West Dorset & East Devon.
Full member of CMA since 1986, previous SW regional positions held include: County Rep for Somerset, Treasurer and Secretary. Received Landscapes for Life Award 2015 – for contribution to conservation and enhancement of AONBs.
Richard Westwood - South East England & London region co-ordinator
Richard has recently taken on this role following Jess Darwin’s departure to take up a position outside this region. His pen portrait will be added shortly….
Toby Edwards - Northern Ireland region co-ordinator
Day Job: Ranger for National Trust at Mount Stewart Demesne, Northern Ireland – Covering restoration & development for conservation & access across the recently acquired estate.
Background: Originally from NW Somerset growing up sandwiched between, Exmoor, Blackdowns and Quantocks I left for North Wales to complete my degree in Leisure & the Environment specialising in wilderness, heritage and sustainable development. I ended up in the area for 6 years, working & exploring and bouncing back to the South-West for seasonal work. I began volunteering for National Trust on Anglesey and in North Devon 2004-6 and then took up a residential Volunteer Warden post based at NT Lanhydrock, Cornwall.
In 2007 I moved to Northern Ireland to take up Ranger post with the NT on the North Coast. This developed into a Lead role focusing on the restoration & re-development of the Downhill Demesne estate. 2012 saw me make the unusual jump from countryside to visitor services in the Site/Operations manager role covering Portstewart Strand, Downhill Demesne, Hezlett House and some 2000+acres of highly designated costal and estuarine lands with over 300K visitors pa. Fed-up with being office bound in that role I got back out on the ground in 2015 taking up my current role in the newly acquired 1000acre demesne surrounding Mount Stewart on the Ards Peninsula
Clair Payne - North West England region co-ordinator
Day Job: Ranger with the National Trust, Hawkshead and Claife, Lake District
Background: I’ve been a National Trust ranger since 2012, helping look after the west shore of Windermere, Claife Heights, the grounds of Wray Castle and much more. My day to day role involves a variety of nature conservation projects, improving access to our countryside sites and inspiring our volunteers. I spent nearly 2 years as a Volunteer Officer with BTCV learning to run a variety of practical projects. I also spent six months leading trail teams in Iceland – and now help train future ICV leaders. This led on to me becoming an Assistant Ranger working with volunteer groups at the National Trusts’ High Wray Basecamp in 2012, before becoming a Ranger in 2013 covering this varied and exciting part of the Lake District.
I joined the CMA in 2016. I’m excited to spread the word of the CMA around the North West and meet other countryside professionals.
Chris Lockyer - East Midlands region co-ordinator
Day job: Assistant Ranger, High Peak, for the National Trust in the Peak District National Park
Background: Starting conservation volunteering at the age of 14 Chris studied a National Diploma in Countryside Management followed by a degree in Biology with Conservation & Biodiversity. Following graduation Chris worked with Sheffield Wildlife Trust and their contractual arm and the Moors For The Future Partnership carrying out hydrological survey work in the Peak District.
He then took on a short term contract with the National Trust on the Farne Islands carrying our extensive monitoring of the nesting sea bird populations.
In 2015 Chris returned to the Peak District and continued working with the National Trust where outside of practical countryside management he has a strong focus on cross compliance and ecological monitoring.
Joining the CMA in 2016 he attended the World Ranger Congress in Colorado, USA and the 2017 European Ranger Congress in the Czech Republic. Chris is also involved with The Thin Green Line Foundation in the UK and hopes to promote the work of Rangers at home and abroad along with building the CMA presence in the East Midlands.
Colin Houston - Greater London region co-ordinator
Day job: Projects and Volunteer Manager, Hampstead Heath
Background: Colin began working in rewilding projects at Alladale Wilderness Reserve and Scottish Native Woods after completing a geography degree and MSc in Environmental Protection and Management at the University of Edinburgh.
Relocating to London he worked as an Environmental Consultant in the engineering sector, before stopping the commute and managing projects abroad for Raleigh International.
A keen mountaineer, he joined the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces in 2015 with responsibilities across Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, Kenwood Estate, Keats House and Golders Hill Park. He manages the independent volunteering charity Heath Hands, whose members support conservation, garden maintenance, ecology, education and events staff across these green spaces. Recently he has become focused on supporting disadvantaged and disabled individuals and groups to get involved in the outdoors through the launch of their Community Heath project.